Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman may play rival ballerinas in ‘Black Swan’, but the actresses are about to experience a real-life rivalry with dueling romantic comedies ‘Friends with Benefits’ and ‘No Strings Attached’. So will these 2011 movies with strikingly similar premises tear the attractive pair apart?
Well, director Darren Aronofsky has already attempted to create a rivalry between Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman, according to The Los Angeles Times. Since the two play ballerinas competing for the lead role in the ballet “Swan Lake”, it was a clever ploy by Aronofsky to keep the two apart while filming key scenes, telling each girl that the other was doing a better job with her role. But after all the media attention focused on ‘Black Swan’ dies down (and particularly the fascination with a certain sex scene), it looks like the actresses’ Hollywood-manufactured rivalry will continue with two sexy romantic comedies, ‘Friends with Benefits’ and ‘No Strings Attached’.
Natalie Portman strikes first with ‘No Strings Attached’ on January 21, 2011. January is generally not a promising month for movies, especially romantic comedies, but this one could be good enough to attract a crowd with a little romance for the women and some raunchy sex scenes for the guys. The trailer starts with a group of people trying to convince Ashton Kutcher’s character that he did something really crazy the night before (like participating in an orgy). But Natalie Portman’s character goes on to graciously tell him that he just ended the night naked and crying.
We learn that her character is a doctor who works 80 hours a week, explaining why she would want to be in a relationship with “no strings attached”. She and Ashton Kutcher’s character have been friends a very long time, with the possibility of benefits just now occurring to them. Unfortunately, Ashton Kutcher’s character starts falling for this girl that doesn’t believe in monogamy, even telling him to go sleep with someone else to get her off of his mind. He does, and when she discovers he’s done the deed with two girls at once, her response is to simply call him an overachiever. We’re also treated to an underpants joke brought to you by a guy in junior high; hamster humor; and a scene starring a guy suffering from porn ADD.
The verdict here? The director of ‘My Super Ex-Girlfriend’ makes Natalie Portman’s character seem like the coolest chick ever, but the movie itself looks like it won’t stand out too much from the other upcoming romantic comedies of 2011.
Here’s an interesting note: the working title for ‘No Strings Attached’ was ‘Friends with Benefits’, and, judging from the trailer for the movie starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, everyone involved with that ‘No Strings Attached’ better hope that people get the movies mixed up.
The ‘Friends with Benefits’ trailer actually does a better job of making it look like one of the best upcoming romantic comedies of 2011, and the movie’s July 22, 2011 release date bodes a lot better for it. Plus the trailer is a lot more promising: it starts out with Mila Kunis drinking beer and bending over in a tiny pair of shorts. The we’ve got the mother of Mila Kunis’ character approving of her daughter being a “slam piece”; another noisy sex joke; Wood Harrelson dishing out some anatomy philosophy; Justin Timberlake’s character dissing Semisonic by getting the band confused with the Semicharmed ones; Mila Kunis’ character giving a 9-year-old TMI; and a blinking and cursing correlation revelation. It looks a little more rated R and more creative than ‘No Strings Attached’ (there’s a lot more skin in the trailer), so the director of ‘Easy A’ could wow us again with this one (oh yeah, ‘Easy A’ star Emma Stone is one more of the benefits of watching this romantic comedy) .
So who comes out on top, Mila Kunis or Natalie Portman? Well, Natalie Portman is getting all the awards buzz for ‘Black Swan’ and her movie is being released first. However, I think Mila Kunis is just hitting her stride, with ‘Friends with Benefits’ being another step forward (while ‘No Strings Attached’ is a step back for Natalie).
But in the end, does it really matter which actress is better? After all, no matter who comes out on top, fans of two of Hollywood’s hottest brunette beauties are going to win.